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The documents are certifications issued to the company by the Russian Security Service, the spy agency known as the FSB.Unlike the stamped approvals the FSB routinely issues to companies seeking to operate in Russia, Kaspersky’s include an unusual feature: a military intelligence unit number matching that of an FSB program.“No one should be surprised if there are closer relationships between IT vendors and law enforcement, worldwide, than the public imagines,” Geers said. It’s certainly possible, Geers said, that Kaspersky’s software contains a secret “backdoor” to allow Russian special services access for law enforcement and counterintelligence purposes.Case in point: Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that American telecommunications companies shared vast amounts of personal data with the ultra-secret U. “If such a secret backdoor exists, I would not be shocked,” Geers said.At a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in May, Sens.
Kaspersky has gained an unwanted spotlight lately amid the Justice Department’s investigation headed by outside Special Counsel Robert Mueller into whether the Kremlin colluded with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.Geers said he could not say with certainty the degree to which the documents show a formal connection between Kaspersky and the FSB.But “the suggestion is that this is a government op (operation), a unit with a direct government affiliation,” he said. Now, official Kremlin documents reviewed by Mc Clatchy could further inflame the debate about whether the company’s relationship with Russian intelligence is more than rumor. intelligence agencies have turned up the heat in recent days on Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based cybersecurity giant long suspected of ties to Russia’s spying apparatus.